Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Could you please explain the verse: "Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil" (Romans 14:16).

The Holy Book of Romans 14:16 should also be read with verses 17-21 to fully understand its complete meaning.

Verse 16 states, "Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;"

Verse 17 states, "for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

St. Paul is somewhat supporting the weak (those of immature conscience) and more importantly supporting loving fellow Christians. There was a conflict regarding eating meat that was offered to the idols. For the strong believers, this was right and good, but for the weak, this was unacceptable. In the verses before verse 16, St. Paul stands behind those of mature conscience. But in verse 16 he practically supports the weak. The superior principles are to 1) give up one's rights for the sake of not offending the weak and 2) to avoid causing spiritual harm to one another. He writes: "...for the Kingdom is righteousness and peace and joy." Thus, if we did not care about offending the weak, we are letting our good be spoken of as evil.
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